I’d come across Taste Live events in the Twittersphere (#ttl), seeing wine tasting notes fly back and forth. Sounded like fun, so a few weeks ago I signed up for one. I had a vague awareness that another one was coming up Friday night, but the event obviously required a particular wine. Low and behold, a box of 4 S.A. Prum Rieslings was waiting for me when I got home from work Thursday, so I needed to quickly round up some fellow tasters!
Fortunately I was able to round up a group of 6 tasters on short notice to set about the arduous task of sampling the wines. The basic Taste Live process is that there is a designated time for people to start sampling the wines in a set order. Short tasting notes are then shared directly on the Taste Live website, which is linked to Twitter. The notes are short to conform with the 140 character limit on Twitter. It was a fun process to share these wines with a group in person but to also compare notes with tasters around the world.
Now, more about the wines we sampled last night. This was definitely the most focused attention I’ve given to Rieslings. They are in my wine rotation, primarily something I pair with spicy Asian food; so this provided a chance to learn more and compare different styles. All 4 Rieslings were from S.A. Prum; the Prum family has been cultivating wine for 200 years in Germany’s Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region, probably the best known area for Riesling. Yet despite being the same grape varietal, from the same region and producer, each of the wines displayed distinctly different characteristics. I’ll recap some of the basic notes in the order tasted; then share some of the overall impressions from our tasters.
S.A. Prum Essence Riesling: I got a citrusy nose, tart green apple on the front with a slightly sweet honey on the finish. Others noted the slight minerality and that it went well with the appetizers (a spicy dip and assortment of cheeses).
S.A. Prum Blue Riesling: This was quite full bodied for a Riesling, almost comparable with a chardonnay in terms of body. We tasted peach and apricot, and one taster noted the lingering honey on the finish. Based on the tasting sheets, I’d matched this with our main course, a pork stir fry with sides of noodles and a pasta dish that had been brought. The body stood up well to the food, the tip sheet was on point!
S.A. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett: I think our impression of this one may have suffered a bit from our tasting it while we were still working on our main course; this was a bit sweeter than the Blue, I can see it working better with something spicier. Some tasters dismissed it quickly as too sweet, but when I tried it with a crab cake and Cajun remoulade, my impression of this one improved. Most of the comments I saw on this from tasters elsewhere were quite positive.
S.A. Prum Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett: I really liked the firm structure of this one, a nice blend of honey and lemon with a distinct minerality in the backdrop. This is produced in a single 140 acre vineyard.
Our group really had a pretty diverse impression of the wines. None of us came in as Riesling mavens by any stretch, John perhaps being the most enthused about them. The Essence was definitely the most popular overall, as a couple group members really didn’t care as much for the ones that had more sweetness. The Blue and Urziger both generated some heated discussion–thankfully more civic than the health care debate. Some really liked the fuller bodied nature of Blue, others didn’t like this quality (tended to break down those who like chard vs. those who don’t). A couple members thought the Urziger was sweet for their tastes; John and I, who I’d say overall were the biggest Riesling champions in the mix, definitely liked this one a lot with the combination of honey, lemon and minerality I noted.
All in all, it was a very fun night. And I definitely will be keep the S.A. Prum label–especially the Essence and Urziger–in mind next time I’m seeking a Riesling!
For more information:
Taste Live Website or follow on Twitter http://twitter.com/tastelive
Wines of Germany (note: German wines are being featured all month on the Taste Live program so you can still get in on some of them!)